Friday, 16 May 2008

Spaghetti Bolognese

This makes no claims to authenticity at all, besides spaghetti bolognese is hardly authentic Italian fare. This is unashamedly retro, complete with grated cheddar on top and perhaps one of those frozen garlic bread sticks on the side?

Oh yes, naturally, my version doesn't have any meat either, but I've never let that hold me back. There's a knack to using vegetarian mince, namely throw as much flavour at it as possible and you should be ok. I used Quorn mince, which probably has the best texture of the veggie minces out there, but the dried stuff you can get for about 50p is not too bad either, especially if you're using it in a lasagne where all that cheese means the mince isn't so important. If you want to be completely unorthodox, my friend always puts a can of kidney beans in with her mince too, its adds a bit more texture and also ups the health quota. I also used passata, but only because I have a bit of a thing about the chunks of tomatoes in chopped tomatoes, but I won't pass that onto you.

It goes without saying that this freezes superbly, so cook 2/3 times as much as you need and freeze in handy individual portions so you can just take one out of the freezer in the morning and have it for your tea!

Spaghetti Bolognese
Serves 3-4

2 onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and diced finely
2 red chillis, chopped finely
300g veggie mince
1 can kidney beans, drained
2 cans chopped tomatoes
½ glass red wine
1tbsp balsamic vinegar
2tsp bouillon powder
2 bay leaves

Fry the onion, pepper, garlic and chilli slowly until completely soft and aromatic. Add in the mince and beans, stir to completely coat in the oniony juices. Add the wine, turn up the heat and allow to bubble for a few mins, add in the rest of the ingredients and a little water if necessary. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20mins until you have a thick sauce. Season to taste and serve however you like!

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